It’s Thursday, and I can feel Friday coming right around the corner. It’s too soon already, and yet I am eager to go home and see my family.
For fun, I am experimenting with a minimalist editor called “Writer, the internet typewriter“. Of course, it’s only usable if you’ve got an internet connection, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem these days. Its black background and green text are appealing, soothing and allow me to properly reminisce about my first contact with computing. (If you’re using Firefox, visit this editor and then hit F11 to go into full screen mode and you’ll get a better sense of what I’m seeing.)
Many years ago when I was but a child, my father, an accountant at the time, would take me to the office with him every so often. He is a workaholic and would go in to do some filing, or run off some reports and I would tag along and “help.” Most often, I think I spent my time filing, sorting, drawing on old printouts, or helping my Dad thread those giant green-bar printouts onto hanging binders. After a while I was promoted and allowed to help double-check his math with an adding-machine. Yes, one of those giant-sized calculators, about the size of a small cash-register. Finally, I got access to a computer terminal, one of those TV-screen-looking things with a keyboard. No mouse! When you turned it on, there was a bright red LED that would light up on it, and after it warmed up you would see the main menu. And… all the way at the bottom of it, was an entry for Games.
I’d rush through my tasks for that office visit so that I could play Adventure. A few times, my dad even brought a terminal and modem home so I could play from the dining room.
I can still remember the excitement of staring at the glowing green phosphors of the screen. No mouse. Just me, the clicking of the keyboard and a flashing cursor on the screen.
“Inventory” “Go west” “Get lamp” There were a limited number of words that Adventure would recognize, and they had to be used in the proper context and in the proper order. What fun! I remember being able to stare at that screen for hours, just playing those games. I would beg my dad to bring home the terminal.
So here I sit, with this (so far) awesome green screen text editor. Just me, the green LCD pixels… the barely audible keyboard and the incessant droning of the people who sat down next to me and decided to have an office meeting where everyone could hear them. <sigh>
Does anyone have access to a mainframe that still runs Adventure on a green screen?